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Boy With Down Syndrome Learns to ‘Fly’ Thanks to Photographer Father

By Hanssie on April 17th 2015

Every child has dreamt of flying. Whether influenced by childhood heroes like Superman or just a simple bird soaring through the air, there is something magical about the ability to fly.

Ever since little William (Wil) Lawrence was a baby, he wanted to fly. He’d roll over to his stomach, spread his little arms out and wiggle his feet. It was the family joke that someday Wil would take off. And one day, Wil’s father, Alan, made it happen. Alan is a photographer and as you well know, with the power of Photoshop, we can make almost anything happen. Alan took 17-month-old Wil out and took a few photos of him being held up, then after some Photoshop magic, Wil could fly!


Sharing the photo on Instagram, friends and family soon tuned in weekly to see where Wil would fly. What began as a personal project, turned into a mission. Wil is a special little boy –  not only can he fly but he was also born with Down Syndrome. Clearly, that hasn’t stopped Wil, and his parents are hoping to teach him that despite challenges he may face in the future, he can do anything he puts his mind to, even fly.

The family has begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to create a yearly calendar for 3 to 4 years and help them share their message of joy and hope for other families that have children with Down Syndrome. The family is planning on taking a trip in an RV to 5 different states and capture as many images of Wil flying as possible.

We are excited to see “Wil Can Fly” being shared and viewed by many different people. We hope these images help others recognize that even though our son has Down Syndrome he is not a burden on our family, he does not limit our family, but instead he brings a light and joy that can not be described. The future is very bright.  As a photographer, I feel as though everything I have learned about photography has lead to this very moment to help share this very message.


Wil-Can-Fly-5 Wil-Can-Fly-6 Wil-Can-Fly-7

Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to two Down Syndrome Foundations:

WIl-can-fly-1 Wil-Can-Fly-2 Wil-Can-Fly-3 Wil-Can-Fly-4 Wil-Can-Fly-8To read more about their mission and their project, check out the Kickstarter here. To stay up to date on Wil and his adventures, check out Alan’s blog, That Dad Blog, here and their Facebook  and Instagram.

[Via Demilked]

CREDITS: All photographs by Alan Lawrence are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Great project

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  2. Tom Blair

    Just good to see some happy news!

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  3. satnam singh

    just awesome!!

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  4. Jason Boa

    Crazy … And hilarious

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  5. Isaak Kwok

    Inspiring! Wil has a great dad!

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  6. Peter Nord

    What a great idea. My neighbors have some cute kids. I bet they’d like some flying photos. Going to have to try this out.

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  7. Graham Curran

    Wonderful idea.

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  8. robert garfinkle

    It’s a bird, it’s a plane… It’s Super Photographer!!

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  9. Daniel Thullen

    Wil is too cool. He flies everywhere. Needless to say I’ll be following the calendar project.

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  10. Ed Rhodes

    that’s really cute

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